MISSOULA – The University of Montana has selected successful businesswoman Karen Kracher Dykstra to serve as interim director of the Office of Alumni Relations and president/CEO of the Alumni Association during the coming year.
A UM alumna, Dykstra will start her new duties Oct. 1. She will replace Bill Johnston, who retired this month after 36 years of service to UM.
“Karen has remained very involved with UM,” said Mario Schulzke, the University’s associate vice president for integrated communications. “She is an alumna who has had remarkable success in the world of business but never forgot her roots. We are excited to bring her back on campus so she can help move our alumni enterprise forward.”
Dykstra earned a UM criminology degree and an advanced finance certificate from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. Her career most recently included serving as president of the Wholesale Division of Navitor Inc. in Minnesota and as president of Kracher Consulting.
During her extensive career with eight companies, she helped enhance the growth of both startup and mature businesses, working with both privately and publicly held firms. Sales and marketing are her passions, as well as a commitment to excellence in customer service, operations and strategic processes
“UM helped make me who I am and launch my professional career,” said Dykstra, who currently resides in Arizona. “I have always been an active member of Griz Nation, and I relish the opportunity to help the University actively connect with its alumni base in Montana, across the nation and around the world.”
She currently serves on the advisory board for UM’s College of Humanities and Sciences and soon will complete multiple terms as a UM Foundation trustee and treasurer.